Thursday, 19 May 2011

19 May: Thursday ride to Hinxworth and Old Warden

Edward writes: When we met at Haslingfield Church we were at long last faced with a day without the wind that has blown for so long now. Nine riders left Haslingfield to begin the toil up Chapel Hill - always good to get the blood circulating, followed by the quick run downhill into Barrington and then the road through into Shepreth and Meldreth. In Meldreth we turned right and on to Bassingbourn. In just a couple of weeks the countryside has changed its appearance. No longer is the view of yellow fields far into the distance as all the oil seed rape has now finished flowering and the fields have returned to a shade of green to match the colour of the new grain crops. Nonetheless, under the sun and without the wind it was really pleasant cycling through the countryside.

Our next village was Littlington followed by Steeple Morden and the fringes of Ashwell where we took the Hinxworth road which was to take us to our coffee stop at Farrowby Farm. Here we were joined by Doug, Bob, but not Myrtle, and later by Adrian.






After coffee Eva had a flat tyre, but luckily, it just needed pumping-up and we were quickly on our way again to head over the A1 into Edworth and then into Henlow. For those on the ride two weeks ago all this was familiar territory as it was in Henlow that we had lunch. However, this time it was on to Clifton (did everybody forget Byercyles?) and towards Langford and once again into the delightful Bedfordshire countryside with its charming villages with many old cottages. All this makes these rides very worthwhile and, on a day like today, a particular pleasure.


These quiet country roads took us to our lunch stop at the Shuttleworth Collection at Old Warden. This is a busy venue with many cyclists whose shirts suggested some very long rides, eg from Kent and Southgate. After a leisurely lunch it was off again, but Eva's tyre had again gone down and this time the tube needed replacing. David led the way and the bike was ready in no time and we were soon on our way again.


We had to retrace our steps for two or three miles before our turning to Broom and then on into Biggleswade. After a slightly circuitous route through the town we eventually got on to the road for Dunton and Eyeworth and then to make a right turn to head for Guilden Morden.


By now our numbers had fallen to six as Jacob, along with Adrian and Bob B, needed to follow his off-road routes and Tony, who had joined us lunch, branched off for St Neots. We were now on a familiar route home through Shingay and Wendy to join the A603 for the short trip to the Orwell turn. Here Malcolm and Brian M left us and for the remainder it was through Barrington, over the hill again and rapidly into Haslingfield where the ride finished. Once again thanks to Greta who led the ride with great skill. 57 Miles. Edward Elmer


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